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Listen: LAS Rips Cuomo's Handling of Incarcerated New Yorkers with Mental illness

Stefen Short, Supervising Attorney with The Legal Aid Society’s Prisoners’ Rights Project, appeared on The Capitol Pressroom to discuss New York’s “prison-to-homeless shelter pipeline” for incarcerated people suffering with mental illness.

Short described practices by the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DOCCS) which hold mentally ill New Yorkers in custody – even after their release date – due to a lack of budgetary commitment from the Governor Cuomo’s administration for community services to support them post-release.

The Legal Aid Society brought a lawsuit challenging the policy in January 2019.

“What we’re essentially asking for is for the state to fix its budgetary priorities,” Short said. “Strategies like this actually further a larger strategy on the part of the state, and that’s a strategy to fund carceral [and institutional] options for people instead of funding the type of services that could keep people safe in the community and afford them an opportunity to live independently.”

Listen to the full episode below.